During our recent webinar, Addressing Unexpected Fall Protection Needs, we had some great questions from the audience. We have listed the questions and answers here for others to learn from.
Q1: Can you discuss the use of anchorages and lanyards in aerial lifts?
A1: This is a common question, and we see people improperly to attached to aerial lifts very often. There are two common issues with anchorages in aerial lifts: location and configuration. The location is important since you want the anchorage to be located to prevent the worker from climbing out or being catapulted out of the lift. The configuration of the anchorage is important since you need to make sure that anchorage is compatible with the connector on the end of the lanyard you are using. You can also learn more about this from a previous blog post.
Q2: Are procedures available for how/when to use a crane as an anchorage?
A2: Currently, there are no procedures available through OSHA or ANSI to use a crane as an anchorage for an active fall protection system. This question can break down into two general types of cranes: overhead cranes within industrial facilities and mobile cranes on construction/industrial sites. For the latter, there is a reference in 29 CFR 1926 that discusses the use of a crane to support a suspended man basket. This section contains some specific requirements that can give you things to consider if this is something you need to do at your job site. Additionally, the ANSI Z359.6 standard committee is considering incorporating general procedures for both types of cranes into the standard. I foresee attachment location and details, pre-lift procedures, lockout-tagout requirements and capacity requirements being part of this section of the standard.
Of course, what you need to consider before using a crane as an anchorage is that if something happens to the hook, you are going down with it.